August 6, 2007
Is it really that hard to be happy? I was with a lifelong friend recently who was updating me on all the terrible things that have happened in their life this year. At the end of the conversation, it was said "But you know what, I am healthy and really have nothing to complain about." Once I was alone, I thought about their demeanor. There was no complaining at all. It could have easily been a "Woe-is-me" session. However, the conversation was matter-of-fact - simply-an-updating. I pondered to myself later if I could have been as poised under their circumstances. I thought, I might be devastated under their circumstances. Or, maybe not. Life deals each of us what it needs to in order for us to learn our lessons. Each of us, no matter how close we are, or far apart, have spiritual lessons that we must complete. People have overcome mass atrocities and some of us crumple because we can't pay our mortgages!
For years I kept a newspaper photo taped to my computer at work of a woman from Mozambique,Africa. In March of 2000 there were flash floods in Mozambique and this woman was forced to give birth in a tree, on a limb. Helicopters hovered attempting to help, but there was just no way to get to her until after she gave birth. She birthed her beautiful baby daughter successfully and they both lived.
I used her to remind myself that I am a whiner. I had demerol giving birth. My family and friends were surrounding me in a sterile environment with the best of care. What courage, what force of life, or nature, possessed this woman that she brought someone into this world under such dire extremes was a viand for me. It empowers and sustains me to this day. The picture has faded and disintegrated. But I searched and have managed to bring one to you. The face of courage and determination and the face of life.
Clinging to hope and life is a challenge each day for everything and everyone who draws breath. But you never know if you will be blessed enough to receive that challenge the next day. Looking at our physically challenged, our mentally challenged, our environmentally challenged and those who are just plain challenged should inspire us to not only accomplish but to live. Try it! Wake up right now and live today!